They, too, are Kiwis: Flying the flag for Aucklanders
PA MAI TO REO
Here come the traffic lights. And after more than 100 days in some form of lockdown, Aucklanders will get some freedoms and be able to travel for summer. This, in turn, has brought online commentary about keeping them locked up, like a modern-day leper colony, while the rest of NZ gets on with summer and heading to the beach. As a former Aucklander, and someone with family and friends in the city, I’d like to say a few things in Auckland’s defence. ■ They have been stuck with home schooling for a long time. If I had my kids locked up with me for that long, and the opportunity to take them to their grandparents’ out-oftown house, I would be shaking with anticipation at the very thought of someone else making a piece of toast for them while I had an extra five minutes’ sleep. “Go and see your Nana” must be words they are longing to utter, and at this stage would feel like speaking a foreign language. ■ They deserve to see people who have been keeping up with hair maintenance. Have you ever seen The Walking Dead? Imagine all the people there who will be unable to get to their regular hairdresser preChristmas, emerging from their lockdown cave like scraggly zombies going from beautician to hairdresser “raggghhhhh Hairrrrcuts . . . waxxxing”. Out-of-town regions would look like the Met Gala compared with that. ■ I imagine with all the vax chat going on, the Sky Tower would look like a giant needle towering over the city, bringing up memories of angry people on all sides of the debate tapping out aggrieved responses on some online news article. They need a break from the towering needle. ■ The reality is that going the opposite way can be really fun as well. Auckland has a lot going for it — traffic aside — incredible eateries, beautiful beaches, shopping, our closest thing to a Gold Coast theme park. It’s got a cool zoo, Motat, the Sky Tower and a whole heap of our family, friends and fellow Kiwis. If we all continue doing the things we need to do to stay safe, we can be a team again, and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing my brother for Christmas.